So titled because "trusts" once were used to destroy business competition, U.S. antitrust laws are intended to ensure that the American market economy functions in a competitive manner and for the benefit of consumers. This course will analyze the statutes which provide the basis for U.S. competition law as well as a number of administrative agency interpretations which constitute the most important policies of antitrust enforcement. The substance of the course will encompass horizontal restraints between competitors (price fixing, group boycotts, bid rigging, etc.), vertical restraints involving multiple actors in a chain of distribution, the abuse of monopoly power by single firms, the standards of judicial and administrative review for mergers and acquisitions, and the judicially imposed limitations on private enforcement. The majority of the course will focus on U.S. law although some international and comparative aspects will be considered. No prior knowledge of economics is required.
This elective course is normally offered every year.